Things to do in April in New York City

by NYJ Team

April showers bring May flowers… and lots of exciting things to do in New York City. With spring in the air and dozens of events taking place, April is a great month to visit the greatest city in the world. Here are some highlights!

Tribeca Film Festival
For film buffs, spring in New York means it’s time for the popular Tribeca Film Festival in lower Manhattan. Various cinemas in the Tribeca district showcase hundreds of international films, often with the director and cast ready and waiting to answer questions after the screening. Almost every one of the more than 200 films is a North American, international, or world premiere. For more information about the festival and how to buy tickets, visit www.tribecafilm.com/festival. The site also offers interactive maps to help you navigate the city as you hop from movie to movie.

The Easter Parade
Every Easter Sunday, Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th streets is closed to traffic for this colourful and exciting spectacle. The tradition dates back to the mid-1800s when the upper crust of society would attend church services and then parade their new Easter outfits down Fifth for all to see! Starting at 10am, admire the passing parade of participants decked out in creative bonnets and elaborate costumes. There is plenty of entertainment, stunning floral displays and even a real Easter bunny or two. Celebrate Easter services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th Street and Fifth, St. Thomas Church on 53rd and Fifth or at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Cherry Blossom Season at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Spring is a lovely time of year to experience New York, and there is no better celebration of spring’s beauty than the cherry blossom viewing season in April at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). Visitors can walk under the boughs of the cherry trees and experience the Japanese tradition of Hanami, watching the delicate blossoms as they vibrantly come to life. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden boasts the largest collection of cherry trees outside of Japan, and it is stunning to see the lush blooms of these more than 200 trees come alive in their rich colours. The BBG is located at 1000 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn. Directions to the Garden and more details about the cherry blossom viewing season can be found on the BBG’s official site at www.bbg.org/exp/cherries.

Earth Day Celebration in Central Park
With its lush greenery and beautiful landscaping, Central Park is a must-see in the spring. The Earth Day celebration in the heart of the park is a free event open to the public and includes live musical performances, art and crafts, and lots of environmental projects like tree planting. Families can pack a picnic, spread out a blanket and enjoy the festivities.  For more information on what’s happening in Central Park check out www.centralpark.com for a calendar of events, maps of the area and general info on visiting the park.

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium
Baseball fans count down the days to spring training, and especially to the opening day of the season in April.  The gates of the New York Yankee’s new stadium open in April 2009. Located on the north side of 161st Street between River and Jerome Avenues, it is right across the street from its original home. The 1.3 billion dollar state of the art facility boasts advanced audio visual technology and several tasty dining options to enhance the fan’s experience. For ticket information and a schedule of the exhibition and regular-season games, visit the Yankees official website at http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.

The Big Apple is abundant with attractions and makes the city an international hot spot for travelers from around the world. For a directory of the most popular attractions in New York City, head to NewYorkJourney.com.

NYC Shopping – For trendy fashionistas and bargain hunters alike!

by NYJ Team

From the dazzling display cases in Tiffany’s to the lively street vendors on Canal Street, shopping in New York City has something for trendy fashionistas and bargain hunters alike! Famous flagship stores, plush boutiques and deal-of-a-lifetime discount retailers all await the lucky shopper destined for the Big Apple.

Midtown Manhattan is home to some of the world’s most legendary department stores. On Broadway between 34th and 35th streets is the self-proclaimed biggest store in the world – Macy’s. With over half a million items for sale ranging from expensive fur to sparkling crystal to hip denim, Macy’s is a shopper’s Mecca. There are ten floors to cover so take a store guide at the entrance and hit the escalators! A fixture on Herald Square since 1902, Macy’s flagship store is famous for its great sales and amazing window displays. Also known for excellent deals and wonderful displays is Lord and Taylor on Fifth Avenue between 38th and 39th. It’s been a shopping establishment since 1826. And if you want to be a true New Yorker and swing an iconic “Brown Bag” of your own, head to Bloomingdale’s at Lexington and 59th. This store sprawls over an entire city block and is bursting with designer names. Filled with everything from the lush towels by Calvin Klein to latest Tory Burtch clutches, a shopping excursion to the city is just not complete without a visit to Bloomie’s.

The shopping area stretching from Fifth Avenue to 57th street is simply legendary. If designer brands are really what you are looking for, then Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth at 57th and 58th streets is a major shopping destination. Browse through the most talked about designer collections at this stylish and sophisticated department store. From Dolce and Gabbana evening gowns to Stella McCartney strappy sandals, there is something to suit tastes that are classically conservative or cutting edge. For more luxury goods and sumptuous surroundings, drop into Sak’s Fifth Avenue at 50th street. Featuring designs from premium names like Alexander McQueen, Chloe, and Jean Paul Gaultier, you’ll be right in the pulse of the hottest trends. And for a shopping experience where East meets West, check out Takashimaya New York on Fifth at 54th. The serene surroundings and artfully displayed merchandise are a calming change of pace from your other destinations. The Tea Box Cafe is a perfect place to rest and recharge.

A true shopper knows accessories are key and what better place to see the hottest trends in bags, shoes and scarves than Louis Vuitton. At the corner of 57th and Fifth, this flagship location is the largest Louis Vuitton in the world. Browse over 20,000 square feet of men’s and women’s apparel, jewellery, footwear and of course the purses and luggage with the gold monogram that made the French designer legendary. And on the subject of famous flagships, a walk through Tiffany & Co’s to browse the glass displays of glittering gems is a must. If you want to see more high-end jewellery, make a stop at Harry Winston. The jeweller to the stars has spectacular pieces on display in his Fifth Avenue salon.

It gets really serious for fashionistas on Madison Avenue from 57th to 79th. From the edgy styles of Versace to the timeless pieces of Giorgio Armani, this is where you will find some of the most posh boutiques in the world. Barney’s New York on Madison and 60th is an upscale department store offering classic couture as well as cutting-edge indie designs. Dine at Fred’s on the ninth floor to experience the “ladies who lunch” scene.

When you are ready to dig for some great deals and do a little bargaining, it’s time to head to Lower Manhattan. Canal Street between Sixth Avenue and Baxter Street is famous for its hustling street vendors, official and unofficial, selling goods at every turn. This is where you will find every knock-off imaginable, including the latest designer handbags, sunglasses and electronics. Century 21 is the place to go to find that outrageous bargain you will be bragging about to everyone at home. Located in the financial district across from the World Trade Center site, this retailer is considered the best place in New York for brand name merchandise at cut rate prices. Keep in mind this store’s slogan is “Fashion Worth Fighting For” so make sure your shopping senses are at their sharpest! And to outfit yourself in more head to toe designer gear at budget prices, stop in to one of the Filene’s Basement locations in Chelsea, Union Square or on the Upper West Side. You’ll find bargain basement prices on cutting edge American and European designers including Michael Kors, Gucci, and Ted Baker.

No matter what your style, New York City has something for everyone and is the ultimate shoppers paradise. NewYorkJourney.com will give you a comprehensive look at what’s available in such an incredible city – from hotels and shopping to museums and attractions.